A Journey In Black and Indian Love

A Peek inside the marriage of an African American woman and her East Indian spouse

The Lessons of Friendship August 17, 2009

Friendship 

I love getting older. It seems that with each passing day I realize that I have learned a new lesson or gained new appreciation for something previously neglected.  Lately I’ve been thinking alot  about my friends and how they have become family to me. My best friend and I have known one another for more than 20 years now and I know that whenever the chips are down I can count on her. My other closest friend has only come into my life in the last four years but I know beyond a doubt that whatever I need I can count on her as well. Her family has become my family and the love that they have for one another, I am now thankful enough to have had them share it with me.

For those of you who have traveled the road of broken friendships, you know that true friends are rare to find and when you do find them, you have to learn the keys to good friendship as well. I’m learning to rewrite the definition of family. Do any of you have friends that are more reliable than your own family?  I’m thankful enough to say I do. I have friends who have traveled with me to other countries to hold my hand and friends who have stayed up with me and cried with me when they should have been sleeping. I’m thankful that my backdrop of friends come from every walk of life and every ethnic background imaginable. Not everyone can be labeled a friend but for my lovely bunch, they are more than friends-they’ve become family.

As I get older, I’m grateful that I am no longer afraid to let go of “friendships” that don’t work for either of us. I recently had to do this to a person that I realized had been sucking the life out of me for years and finally I wasn’t afraid to tell her this.  I began to notice that whenever I saw her number pop up on my phone that I either rolled my eyes and sucked in my breath before answering or I wouldn’t answer if I couldn’t deal with her latest drama filled antics. The friendship may have worked for me 7 years ago but no longer did we fit. The conversation was awkard and always framed around the soap opera she calls life. After coming back from the trip to Gatlinburg I knew it was time to cut her loose and I did with a dose of honesty that we both deserved.

M doesn’t have friends, nor does he want them..this according to him. I wonder how he goes through this life without having a meaningful friendship. When I asked him about it tonight, he said ‘I’m just very choosey when it comes to the people I want as a friend.’  Apparently,  no one has passed M’s rigorous test of friendship thus far. I try not to pressure him and thankfully my uncles do ask him over to watch football games sometimes during the fall.

This year I’m learning to back off from work a bit and nurture my friendships with those women and men who have really shown themselves to be meaningful. How do you nurture your friendships? I’d love to hear how  you do.. until the next blog lovelies…

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14 Responses to “The Lessons of Friendship”

  1. Stacee Says:

    I know I’ve said this before, but it must be said again. I love your writing! You write with a great sense of humility.

    Regarding friendship, I have only had two people in my life who were not family, that I could really call a true friend. I have known both of these women for 14 years now and we have gone thru everything together. I have been able to count on them to tell me the truth, when my ego needs a time out. LOL and vice versa. They were also there for me when I need emotional support. Like you, my two BF’s were like fam and we called each other cousins because of this.

    I also have a very close knit family where my sister and my two first cousins are my best friends. I love them all equally and have a separate relationship with each one of them.

    Friendship is a twoway street. It is truly about giving and taking, as well as transperancy. My friends and I had lasted so long because we had a mutual respect for one another and could be honest and show our faults. We could admit when we were wrong. Unfortunately, one of my BF’s is no longer my friend. A situation happened that was out of my control and she decided to cut her losses. To this day I have not received closure for what happened. But to make sense of this, I figure that God felt like we were dependent on each other for emotional support ( She seriously would call me before she would call the ambulance, in an emergency. Her boyfriend used to joke with us all the time about it. lol )…..and it was time for both of us to grow in different directions. I still love her like a sister and where ever she is, wish her well.

    I think it takes a very strong person to walk thru life with no friends. At the same time, the fact that your husband and you have each other, is the most important bond that you can form.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. blindianlove Says:

    Stacee,
    Thank you so much for the sweet post. I write from my heart so I do hope that transfers to my readers. As silly as this may sound, I never thought about me and M being friends until I read what you wrote. It’s not that I didn’t know we are friends because we are but the connection of such and it’s meaning for M never dawned on me. Thank you for reminding me.

    I’m sorry to hear of what happened between you and your friend. I do hope there is a way for you all to patch things up to where it’s at least cordial between the two of you to a point where you would want to know where the other was and what you were doing. These days I always carry with me the rememberance that no tomorrow is ever promised to any of us, therefore I try not to put off those things that can be done today. In other words, if something happened to her would you regret the unspoken words that may linger in your heart or would you be able to go forward with no regrets? If there’s an ounce of regret, do what you can to patch up the relationship TODAY because you don’t want that to be a burden you carry for the rest of your life. JMHO.

    It was a delight to read that you are close with your family. I wish my family was tight knit like yours. However, once my grandparents died, it was as though the thread began to unravel and what is left is the skeleton of what was once known as family. It’s sad but over time I’ve learned to adjust and redefine the relationships around me. In the meantime, I am prayerful that God sends me more women to accent my life.

  3. Stacee Says:

    Awww! It’s very unfortuante that your your family is not close. My mom’s generation- her sibs and she are not close at all. But I make it my bizz to contact my sisters, cousins and even one of my aunt’s, all the time. My mom and I are also close. However, I think it comes down to my personality because my sisters are not as close with my mother, and my cousins are not very close with each other either. In fact, I am the mediator in our relationships because I do speak with everyone.

    Regarding my former friend, I would most definetly contact her if I had her info….if just to say hello and that I wish her well. Of course I would be lying if I said that I would be nervous to re-establish a close relationship with her because depending on how relationships depart, determines how hard it is to trust them the same and I don’t think we would ever be as close as we were, if I reunited with her.

    In 2007 she had contacted me thru my sister and told me to call her back but at the time I was very hurt and stubborn for how she cut me off (which was a year earlier), so I did not return her call. Her number has since changed and I am sure she does not live in the same spot where she used to. Ultimately, I think if it was meant to be, God would bring us back into each other’s lives.

    Enough about me…
    Yes I think it is imperative that you and M rekindle your friendship spark. I find that the best relationships are when two people are great friends. Let your friendship be your foundation. Of course there will be times where you cannot stand him, and he, you. But friends disagree too.

    It is healthy to have your girlfriends, but I am soo happy you remember that your husband is your is your very best friend even if he does not say it.

    Awwwww! I am such a sucka for love and you two are truly blessed!! How are the kids? Are they getting ready to go back to school or have they already started?

    Stay blessed…

    • blindianlove Says:

      Stacee,
      I do hope you are able to find contact information soon. At this point she may very well feel the same way you do but is afraid to reach out again since you rejected her the last time. Good luck with everything.

  4. Empress Samantha Says:

    Interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. I’m a bit younger than you but I’m having to face the realities of some of my friendships as I begin grad school and begin focusing on having a family one day.

    • blindianlove Says:

      Thanks Empress! The one thing I can tell you about growing older is that you do begin to refine friendships and disregard the people who are not encouraging you. I love my handful of friends because they love me, they lift me up and encourage me in ways I couldn’t imagine. I’m constantly awed by them. Those people that deserve to be in your life will be the ones that have the shoulders you can one day stand on if needed. Good luck on everything!

  5. Charie Daviston Says:

    What is life like for an African American woman in India. I sponsor a child in Bangalore, India through Compassion International. I would love to visit India. I am little worried. I read that there is a lot of staring, name calling and problems with the police. Would love to get feedback.

  6. blindianlove Says:

    Charie,
    I loved living in India. You may want to read some of the past posts from the beginning of the blog to learn more about my experiences. Yes there is staring but I never got called a name (that I’m aware of) nor did I have problems with the police. I heard a great deal about bribery with the police but the only bribery I experienced first hand was with court officials when we were trying to get our marriage license in Goa. I would encourage anyone to visit and live in India. The life is different -yes but don’t let fear trap you from experiencing some beautiful experiences. Good luck!

    • Charie Daviston Says:

      Thank you for your words of encouragement. I have just been reading how so many African students are treated badly, cannot rent houses, name calling etc. It is finally good to hear a positive experience from a black woman who has lived it. Keep posting, I love your blog.

  7. Emily Says:

    Hi! I just got finished reading your whole blog and I really loved it. I am about to marry an East Indian (we’ve been dating for 6 years) and I was looking around at some of the blogs about Western women marrying Indians and I was frequently put off by some of the women’s attempts to kind of, become an Indian. Does that make sense? Like who they married is their only identity. I was really glad to read that this blog is about you, your family, your adventures, and the fact that your husband just happens to be Indian and that puts an different/interesting spin on some things. Thank you for writing, and I look forward to reading more posts.

    • blindianlove Says:

      Thanks for your sweet comments. I’m glad that you found the blog refreshing and you put it so much more eloquently than I could when you said, ….”this blog is about you, your family, your adventures, and the fact that your husband just happens to be Indian and that puts an different/interesting spin on some things.” When I read your words, it was like a light bulb went on.

      I understand what you are saying about women who try to “kind of become Indian.” I think part of the behavior comes from the desire for the woman to show that she respects the culture and has taken the time to learn its traditions and history. That being said, I have seen some women whose behavior could be conceived as going slightly overboard with this. I believe that successful intercultural relationships should be a union of ideas and culture, history and traditions. A person should not have to shed their own skin to bond with another being. Thanks again for writing.

  8. AnonyMissy Says:

    Hello back I haven’t replied to one of your posts in months, but I’m still reading! I’m very late to this party, but here goes anyway:
    Alas, blogowner you won’t get any friendship tips fro me.
    Let me say that your husband is NOT alone in his situation.
    I have no ‘real’ friends I can speak of, and wondering why no one is there for me the way I would be for them
    I’m still going through some things in my life,and crying every single day, awfully depressed , the whole nine!
    .
    Call to a ‘friend’ to get it off my chest, the usual crap:
    ”oh, It’ s so busy at work, I ‘ll call you back ”(phone never rings),
    ”You can come over at my place anytime to spend the night” (turned into well not tonight, there’s a guy who wants to date me , and he’s spending the night tonight, maybe next week, turned into ”Sorry gotta get my sister from the airport.” (via text message).

    It also seems I’m the only one that knows about the simple ‘just checking on you’ phone call .
    Nothing new, it’a always been that way, and I trust no one.

    So no thanks? no friends for me. Sad? Maybe not!

    • blindianlove Says:

      AnonMissy,
      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I can say that good friends are very hard to find. It’s also hard to be a good friend. In fact, one of the things that I’ve promised myself this year is to improve on my own friendship techniques so to speak. With everything I have going on, I get extremely busy but it’s no excuse for me not to reach out and return the love that I get. So now, even if I’m on my way home or sitting taking a quick break between projects I will pick up the phone and call my friends. I also take the time to tell them how much I appreciate them.

      I’m fine with M not having friends as long as he’s comfortable with it. However, that being said, I still don’t understand how he does it. To not have a real connection in friendship with someone other than me strikes me as strange. But at the end of the day, it’s his decision. If he’s happy with it that’s what matters.

      It sounds to me as though your ‘friend’ doesn’t know how to be a friend. It’s not as simple as people think. I do hope you are able to find someone who can be a good soundingboard for you. Otherwise, I understand why you would want to back away from friendship for a while. Good luck to you my dear blogger and always remember I’m only an email away.

    • Empress Samantha Says:

      I know your post was to blindianlove but I just wanted to say I can relate to you. This was my life after I graduated college last year. Those I thought were my friends decided to not maintain the friendship even though we’re still in the same city. I’m in grad school now so I’m running with a new crowd but I found out my former friend stopped speaking to me over something that happened months ago that I didn’t even know about. Then she said our friendship was no big deal though I’d helped her get through some hard times. So now I’m re-evaluating what real friends are, what friendship requires (on both ends) or even whether I want them.


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